Re: "Don't let oil train safety legislation get derailed" (editorial, 2-19).
Railroads share the public’s concern regarding the safe movement of crude oil by rail. No accident is acceptable, and every day freight railroads look to improve the safety of their operations.
For crude oil trains, railroads have lowered speeds, increased track inspections beyond federal requirements, installed additional emergency braking systems and implemented trackside technologies to detect tank car wheel defects.
But more is needed to ensure the safe movement of crude by rail. That’s why the railroads have advocated for years for tougher tank car standards. In 2011, railroads called on the federal government to issue tougher tank car safety standards, and today the industry supports further improvements, with an aggressive retrofit program for existing cars or phase-out of cars that cannot be upgraded.
The federal government’s long-awaited rules will not only provide certainty, but also chart a new course for ensuring the safer movement of crude oil by rail.(Reilly is the Association of American Railroads' senior vice president of communications.)